By Linda Cole
Humans view a hug as a sign of affection, but many dogs would prefer that we skip them. Wrapping our arms around their neck just makes some dogs uncomfortable. However, that certainly doesn’t mean your dog doesn’t adore you. Some of the ways dogs show their love for us are obvious, while others are more subtle. Here are 9 signs that your dog is mad about you:
Eyebrow and Ear Movements
Dogs express what’s on their mind using their body language, tail wagging, growls, barks and whines. These are obvious signs that convey how a dog is feeling. Facial expressions can also give us a clue about a dog’s state of mind. However, most canines don’t have easy to see eyebrows, so it can be harder for us to notice movement of the brows. One subtle way your dog shows his love though, is to raise his eyebrows (primarily the left one) and shift his left ear back. The eyes may be a “window into the soul” as they say, but your dog’s eyebrows indicate his affection for you.
Leaning Against You
Your pet may lean against you because he feels anxious, wants something, wants to cuddle or is looking for some extra comfort or security. Whatever the reason, leaning against you makes your dog feel safe and secure, and it’s another way of showing his love.
Yawns with You
We know that yawning is contagious, but it’s not limited to just humans. We have a tendency to show empathy by yawning when someone around us yawns. Even though yawning isn’t a way to actually measure if canines are capable of showing empathy, scientists suggest it is possible, and dogs could be demonstrating their sympathy by yawning when the person they love yawns.
Wants to Cuddle After Eating
Preparing your dog’s CANIDAE meal is sure to get him racing to his dish, but it’s what happens after he’s chowed down that can be a subtle sign of his affection. Food is a high priority to our canine friends, and one of the most important things in his life. But after his meal is finished, he turns his attention to the next most important thing – someone he’s close to. With a full tummy, your dog wants to give you puppy love by cuddling. Even though your dog has plenty of places where he can snooze, he wants to snuggle next to you. Another subtle way dogs show love is by sleeping with their head or paw on your knee or foot.
Gives You Direct Eye Contact
Direct eye contact with a dog you haven’t bonded with is interpreted as a challenge, but your furry best friend views it differently. When your pet looks directly into your eyes, he’s letting you know how important you are to him. A transfer of oxytocin takes place when you share a moment gazing into your dog’s eyes, and it makes both of you feel good and strengthens your bond.
Stays Calm When You Leave
If your dog remains calm when you leave the house, it is a subtle sign he loves you because you have his trust and he’s confident you will come back.
Is Excited When You Return
One of the joys of returning home is getting that excited greeting from your dog. He acts like you’ve been gone for days and is over the top with his jumping, tail wagging (especially to the right) and dancing around. It is a sign he loves you and is happy you returned safely.
Gives You a Doggy Smile
When your dog hears your voice and greets you with an open mouth and relaxed expression, it’s an affectionate sign he’s happy to see you. Research has found that when dogs catch the scent of the person they love, it causes a similar response in the brain to that of humans seeing someone they care about. Your doggy friend loves the sound of your voice and scent – showing his love by running to you no matter what he’s involved in and giving you a doggy smile.
Steals Your Clothes
Returning home and finding your favorite sweatshirt, towels, shoes or other clothing scattered around the room is a sign of your dog’s love. He “steals your stuff” because he smells your familiar scent on them and it makes him feel safe, comfortable and secure.
You can’t command a dog to give you respect, loyalty or trust. They have to be earned, and are essential elements in a strong, unbreakable bond – which is the ultimate sign of love.
Read more articles by Linda Cole